Interview by Natasha Gonzales
Article by Celinda De La Fuente

Laying down the educational foundation for students throughout our city takes time and effort. Dr. Roberto Gonzales is quite familiar with the steps and procedures which need to take place in order to help others succeed in their field. With 21 years of experience teaching at Northwest Vista College (NVC) and his work as a faculty advisor, Dr. Gonzales, along with Dr. Adam Reeves and Cindy Magruder, have created an innovative, immersive accelerated cohort program called ALICE to help pre-nursing students learn and grow juntos.
ALICE (Accelerated Learning In Cohort Environment) is “an accelerated program where [students are] going to be meeting all of the requirements for the prerequisites associated with nursing programs like UIW, UT Health, Baptist. So when they come in, we help [students] in terms of mentorship, tutoring, we’ll get them registered for the courses.” According to Dr. Gonzales, this accelerated program will be 8 FLEX sessions, thus encompassing a faster pace for students involved. If students stick with the program during the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, they will be finished within two years and ready to apply to nursing programs.
This program will help students with some of the most challenging pre-requisite courses such as Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Chemistry, etc…while offering guidance on which courses to take and what sequence so students are not overwhelmed by the workload.
Students will be working with a cohort of about 24 students where they can study in groups and assist each other when necessary just as they would do in a nursing program at a University, hence preparing them for what’s to come. Students in the program will also have the opportunity to be a member of NVC Students of Aspiring Nurses (SAN) where they will be offered further guidance, learn about volunteer work, and learn from guest speakers.
The small classes provide one-on-one instruction and may even have guest speakers from UIW, UT Health, and Baptist in regards to “the kind of students they are looking for, what they expect in an application, all the external training, and the volunteering…”
“I think across the board we really do provide a strong foundation for those students who are going to be transferring and we hope that transitions to this program as well,” concludes Gonzales.
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